He asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a vision to improve the quality of education and make it more meaningful.
Mr. Javadekar said education should be seen as an “emancipator” and “agent of change” and he would come out with a roadmap after consultations with the Prime Minister and others, including Smriti Irani, to whose post he has moved in.
“I will build upon the several good initiatives taken up by Smriti Irani. I accept this [new] responsibility humbly and I will talk to our earlier minister Murli Manohar Joshi,” he said.
Mr. Joshi, a former BJP president who is now a part of Margdarshak Mandal, had been critical of the Modi government.
Mr. Irani’s stint in the HRD Ministry was marked by controversies, with the Minister drawing flak for Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide in Hyderabad, the JNU row and allegations of saffronisation of education. She is now the Textiles Minister.
Mr. Javadekar said education “is not a subject for party politics” but it is an important issue and “we will have discussion on it with everyone.”
Calling himself a product of student politics during the JP movement, the Minister said education was an “emancipator and agent of change” and it will play a big role in bringing changes in India in the 21st century.
“Education gives meaning to life, it gives values to life. Therefore, to make education meaningful is the real challenge. Poor parents do a lot of hard work to educate their wards. So, to provide quality education is our aim and we will be able to do it,” he told reporters, adding he will formally take charge on Thursday.
The Minister said the new education policy of India has to be “student-centric”.
“I want to assure all the teachers across the country that we all will chalk out the roadmap of India’s new education policy and education has to be student-centric. I value everyone’s opinion and at the same time we will have a larger discussion on it. My doors will be open for any suggestion,” he said.
Mr. Javadekar, who was in charge of Environment and Forest Ministry and was the lone Minister to be promoted to the Cabinet rank on Tuesday, said under Mr. Modi there is a lot of focus on education.
“I will take charge tomorrow and after getting a brief from the Prime Minister, we will decide the roadmap ahead.”
Mr. Javadekar said his 92-year-old mother, who stays with him. was a primary school teacher herself and he “values” teachers’ contribution to society.